Propaganda Watch: Russian Social Media Ads–4/6/19

Russian President Vladimir Putin superimposed into a Russian Flag. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

This is part of an ongoing series where I review some of the ads purchased by the Russians. In doing so I hope we can get a better understanding of what they were trying to do, and how to recognize it the next time we’re faced with propaganda.

If you want to follow along, the ads can all be downloaded here. The ads I’m using today came from the 2015-q4/2015-10 folder.

October 2015 saw a blitz of new Russian groups on Instagram. Since Instagram is an image-related medium, the ads didn’t have the wall of text many of the Facebook ads did. They were short, to the point, and often a little awkward.

The Instagram group, US Daily delivered this “Stop Refugees” ad (p(1)0001736):

Another one aimed at the right wing of American politics either misspelled “America” or thought the derisive “‘Murica!” was actually a compliment. I don’t know if we’ll ever know, but it’s safe to assume they were incorrect about being the biggest American Instagram account on the platform. (p(1)0003113):

Lest we thought they’d forget about Texit…nope. Texas pride was stoked with “South Texas Pride.” (p(1)0001738):

The “Born Black” ad went literal for its image (p(1)0000400):

The Black Union US ad had a better image, but I think something was lost in translation when they put together the phrase, “Blacks Go Viral.” (p(1)0001740):

While that was a lot of ads, it was a busy month, with a lot of targets through different mediums. Things were definitely livening up.

Please enjoy this Open Thread, and have a great Saturday.

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